QM2 grows Cunard’s Aussie appeal

QM2 grows Cunard’s Aussie appeal
By admin

Around 13,000 Australians cruised with Cunard in 2012, a 50% increase on the previous year, with the circumnavigation of the country by Queen Mary 2 helping to swell numbers, the cruise line has reported.

Yields were also strong as Australia remained Cunard's fourth largest market behind the US, UK and rapidly growing Germany, president and managing director Peter Shanks said.

Speaking on board QM2 in Sydney yesterday, Shanks said he was forecasting further growth this year of between 15% and 20%.

He predicted Australians would also be drawn to a new series of Mediterranean voyages on Queen Elizabeth in 2014, announced yesterday. The youngest of Cunard's three liners will be based in the Med between June and November next year with seven, 14 and 21 night cruises from Venice, Rome and Athens.

Describing last year's Australian circumnavigation as a "huge success", Shanks said QM2 would repeat the voyage next year, with sectors available from Fremantle, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Shanks, on his annual visit to Australia, also revealed Cunard will step up its efforts to target luxury travellers, some of whom he admitted are deterred by the cruise line's traditional image.

"We did some research which showed there is tremendous loyalty to Cunard but it also told us that some people who want luxury travel wouldn't cruise with us because they look at Cunard as being too formal and too old fashioned," Shanks said.

As a result of the findings, Cunard will alter the " look and feel" of its marketing to better articulate the luxury aspects of the company, including its dining options.

But he stressed the cruise line would not loosen its focus on tradition and heritage.

1400 Australians were on the QM2 yesterday as it left Sydney for a circumnavigation of New Zealand.

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